Tag Archives: Prayer

Happy Birthday

I was surprised this evening as we celebrated my birthday quietly at my parents’ house. A knock on the door and a friend from church delivered this birthday cake for me. His daughter,

IMG_9050who had made it, delivered it with him. What a delightful surprise! Its the Ironman logo. What you can’t see is that on the right edge of the cake it says “Ironman” and on the other it says “Chattanooga”. How cool is that?

Friends and family carry you along the way on this journey of life. I know so many have prayed for me and for our family. So many have extended themselves to care for us. This was the latest example of the Father’s love expressed through His children. I am grateful… grateful to live among such excellent people. Last year I rode up a mountain on my bike. This year I took the day off training. I’ll be back at it tomorrow, sharpening up for the big race simulation on Saturday. But today was a day to savor being alive.

While this cake is a symbol of my racing goal for the year (Chattanooga Ironman, September 27th), it also puts a stamp on what it takes to keep living, keep loving and keep laughing. It takes an iron will. I will not back down in the face of loss. Oh yes, it hurts. Oh yes it claws at me. But I will overcome. I choose faith, hope and love. These three remain. They are the fertile soil that produces joy.


Today I Sat

As Katie steered the Honda out of the driveway and off to school, the quiet settled over the house. The sun was shining. Work needed to happen outside. I settled on the back patio, not fit to do much else. I skipped my normal Tuesday morning 5:30AM run with the group. I’m battling some sort of chest cold. I slept in until 6:00AM, what a treat! Saturday is the first long bike ride of the year, 85 miles down around the LBJ ranch. I’d like to be healthy for that. So I’m backing off the physical stress to see if I can kick this.

I felt OK today until about 3:30. Then I just crashed. I went down for a 30 minute nap and then realized when I woke that supper needed to get going because Luke had to leave at 5 for his ball game. I think I’ll need the extra rest tomorrow morning as well so I’m going to skip the 5:30AM swim tomorrow morning too.

Back to the sitting…I sat and I thought and I prayed. What about this? What about that? Little questions. Telling Father what’s on my mind and heart. Giving it to Him to let Him sift it and give it back. No answers yet. That’s ok. I trust Him.

I sat some more tonight. My daughters were inducted into the National Honor Society and as I sat through the ceremony I was so proud of them. They’ve endured so much change in the last 24 months. Their mother went from remission to fading quickly and then gone. They had to go to a new school, make new friends and learn new  skills. They’ve become meal managers and cooks, cleaners and brother sitters. They could have folded, called  it quits and airmailed it in. But they didn’t. I’d like to think part of that reason is that I’ve dedicated myself to being plugged in, leaning into them during this time and forging new relational links that just didn’t have to exist when they had a mother.

Yes, that’s definitely part of it. But part of it is the 50% of their mother they have in them. They’ve handled all the change with amazing grace and skill, just like her. And of course, another part of it is the grace from the Father. He strengthens us when we are weak. All of us have been there. But now we’re working with Him to bring about good things: Luke turns 12 on Monday. We are celebrating on Sunday evening. I’m sorry you won’t be able to come. Its going to be a hoot! LIterally!

Its a Harry Potter themed party complete with owls in cages. Our dining room table is covered in decor, ready to turn our house into everything from Kings Cross Station (Platofrm 9&3/4) to the Hogwarts Castle. The girls are the driving force behind this creative binge, but we’re all engaged. Everyone is excited about it.

We’re doing life together. Celebrating the passage of another year. And believe me, we don’t take those years for granted any more! A birthday celebration is big news!

I thought today would be wasted, in the sitting. But in the sitting I found rest not only for my body but encouragement for my heart and soul.

18 + 461 A Celebration

Yesterday was amazing in so many ways. Well over 400 people crowded the room to honor Kristi and celebrate her life. I was moved to tears as Joy, her cousin, sang the song “How Beautiful” to start the service. Joy sang that same song at our wedding nineteen years ago. Kristi truly was a beautiful woman in so many ways and the service was a fitting tribute to her life and love of family, friends and Jesus.

Kristi’s aunt Margie and Uncle Tom both shared their own recollections as well as notes from her mother and father, John and Bev. My mother, father and sister also shared how much they loved Kristi and what she means to our family.

As the last strains of “In Christ Alone” floated in the air, I stepped to the pulpit and told the story of my initial date with Kristi and our subsequent courtship, mountain top engagement and surprise Hawaiian honeymoon. I shared about how we both continued to pursue our love for each other through the years, never allowing it to grow stale. I closed with an encouragement to keep pursing a relationship with the Father and make sure to respond to His pursuit of you and invited anyone who wanted to come forward for prayer for any reason.

Two couples came forward to receive prayer and both received healing, one for spinal issues and another for GI tract issues. The Spirit Of the Living God was present and as scripture says, where the spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. Freedom in Christ brings life and ultimately healing.

I have since prayed for two friends, one with a hip problem and one with a sprained ankle and seen the pain decrease or disappear immediately. Hallelujah! I finished my talk by urging us all to keep leaning in toward Jesus until our faith reflects His and that B-Gone, B-9, B-Healed becomes second nature to us, a way of life that is characterized by the overflowing of Jesus’ spirit to those in our sphere of influence.

Today has been low key. A run this morning, hanging with my sister and family (in town for the service) and talking with a long time friend also in town this weekend. As expected, I’m tired. Truth be told I haven’t slept very well for a couple of weeks, first caring for Kristi and then the whirlwind of schedule and details that have descended upon us. Pray for deep, restful sleep tonight and in the days to come.

Finally, thank you to everyone who came out yesterday and thanks to those that sent messages of encouragement even though you couldn’t attend. It blessed my spirit to look over the crowd and feel the love, support and care for Kristi and our family.

I love you all!

B-Gone, B-9, B-Healed